Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Incest and hysterectomy

I used to think it was okay for my ob/gyn to be an asshole because he was a good doctor. Turns out I was wrong. He wasn't a good doctor. I should have had fibroid surgery years ago. Now it's too late for anything but a hysterectomy.

So that's that. No babies. I knew I couldn't breastfeed, but I will never give birth to a child.

My friends have helpfully pointed out that I'm not the only woman in this situation and are urging me to join support groups. I'm really not ready for that. I'm basically covering my raw pain with a very thin skin of normalcy. when I'm not working and focused on other people's problems, I am devastated.

I know that I can't really blame anyone else for this situation, so I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong to get here. Besides being too picky about potential mates when I was young and an attractive mating prospect.

But I've been having dreams about my mother. Almost every night. Dreams where I'm with her, in her house or elsewhere, but I don't want to be there. Once she made me sleep in the bed with her boyfriend. Another time I climbed up a kind of jungle gym trying to get into the house, only to find that the window was too small. (I think. Dreams are weird.)

I'm connected on LinkedIn with a very Prominent Sex Addiction Expert (PSAE). So I thought I'd ask him if I could get some advice about a "client":

Hi PSAE, thanks for agreeing to a consult.

Let's call her Jennifer. Her father died when she was very young. Her mother moved a boyfriend into the home when Jennifer was 10 or 11. He was a former hippie-type who had done tons of drugs and considered himself a poet, although he worked as a custodian. He brought a great deal of pornography into the home -- several books and many, many magazines, which Jennifer read. And reread. And masturbated to. Sometimes the boyfriend would try to talk about sex with Jennifer; when her mother was around, her mother would stop him from talking about sex. He also smoked marijuana in front of her during an unsuccessful fishing trip on his friend's boat.

Jennifer has had difficulty establishing healthy relationships with men and has always rushed into having sex early on. Throughout college and her 20s and 30s, she had few long-term relationships but numerous one-night-stands or brief sexual relationships. Part of the hypersexuality might be attributed to bipolar disorder (type 2), which was diagnosed when she was 26. Despite knowing that was a symptom, she hasn't been able to bring her sexual behavior under control. She is now still single at 46 years old.

After I read your article, I wondered if her mother's boyfriend's behavior could be considered covert incest. She has struggled not only with intimate relationships but with work as well, having been fired from several jobs (I think the bipolar is a factor there as well). I can't tell if she's a sex addict, but I do know she's desperately unhappy, having wanted very much to marry and have children, which, thanks to an impending hysterectomy (fibroids), is now impossible. She has stopped speaking to her mother, since the boyfriend still lives in her mother's home and is financially supported by her mother.

Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

He wrote back in less than a day, suggesting that we speak by phone to discuss the case and adding:

Actually - fyi- this is not covert incest. His showing her those magazines and talking to her about the content -is actual incest. Covert incest is just that -not appearing to be sexual- like using your child like an EMOTIONAL husband or pal. But once the overt sexual piece is added, it becomes plain old incest.

This woman has a profound, early, chronic sexual abuse history by an abusing stepfather and emotionally absent mother. No wonder she is where she is today.

I would like to get a bit more info about her current life -and then I think I can help here as it falls directly into my work.

Hopefully we'll talk soon. I'll let him know I'm Jennifer, and if he agrees to keep talking, maybe I'll get some help. He's wrong about my mother being emotionally absent--she was only selectively absent, turning a blind eye to something that might have forced her to get rid of the degenerate pervert. But at the very least, PSAE has validated my decision to cut my mother out of my life.

The last time I spoke to my mother, I tried to tell her how wrong what hr did was, bringing pornography into the home and trying to talk to me about it. I said to her, "I am damaged."

She said, "I'm damaged, too."

I'm not a parent, but I thought you were supposed to want your children to have a better life than you did, and that you wanted to protect them from harm.

She is asking me to forgive incest.

And I will not.

UPDATE: PSAE called.  "Incest produces intimacy disorders in adult women," he said. "Your stepfather is a predator. This was overt incest--it was reportable, arrestable, and I would report him if he's involved with other children." And, for the record, he does think I'm a sex/intimacy addict.

He suggested some books I should read and workshops and meetings I might want to attend. I'm going to talk to my therapist about this when I see her next.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"